CINCINNATI (WIVB) — Bengals running back Joe Mixon is heading into Monday night’s showdown against the Bills with confidence — and he made that clear through comments this past week.

“At the end of the day, what people got to realize and understand is we the big dog of the AFC,” Mixon told reporters in Cincinnati on Saturday. “That’s just what it is. For anything to happen, it goes through us.”

With the Bengals coming off a Super Bowl appearance last season and currently riding a seven-game win streak heading into Monday night, Mixon and his team will be riding a wave of momentum.

The former Pro Bowl running back also had some remarks about the Bills’ linebacker group.

“They’re a solid linebacker group, but they’re not the Ravens,” Mixon told The Athletic’s Jay Morrison on Saturday. “I mean, they’re good. They get paid, too. I’m not saying they’re not good. But they’re not the Ravens.”

Mixon was not the only Bengal to make comments about a Bills position group this past week. Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Boyd, who caught the touchdown pass that helped end Buffalo’s playoff drought on New Year’s Eve in 2017, had some thoughts on the Bills’ secondary.

“I think they play well together but [they’re] not the best that we’ve seen,” he told reporters on Thursday. “But they play together and they’re gonna play hard because this is one of the most important games on both sides. We’re gonna get their best for sure. And I just feel like we can win in our matchups.”

Boyd also called Buffalo’s defense “kind of basic” in those same comments, saying that the Bills “don’t do too much disguising, it’s kind of straightforward.”

Monday night’s game between the Bills (12-3) and Bengals (11-4) will have huge implications for the AFC’s No. 1 seed no matter who comes out on top. The Bills currently control their own destiny to secure the top seed, but a Cincinnati win could put the Bengals a Chiefs loss and Week 18 victory away from securing it themselves.

The 23 combined wins between both teams is tied for the most entering a Monday Night Football matchup in NFL history, alongside a 1997 game between the Broncos and 49ers.

“It’s going to be the game of the year,” Boyd told reporters. “It’s going to be electrifying.”

Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.